Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Women

Do my women improv characters just suck that hard? Really, I would like to know. Whenever I intend to be a woman in a scene I get made into a a gay man or a drag queen. It could be a scene where everyone is saying 'I sure hope mom would get here soon, there has been a nuclear fall out and we are the only people alive,' then I enter and say something like 'Paul it is I your mother , who survived nuclear fallout and have returned to you.' And then the response is 'oh hi gay Phil, goodness I didn't know you survived the nuclear fallout, you can sit with me while I wait for my mom.' I then sob and die a little inside.

I am just sad because while trying to teach improv today I got turned gay many times over in pretty much the situation above. It is just that if I look like the picture above in a scene I would like to know.

So seriously, people who have seen me improvise or have improvised with me, do they suck that hard?

5 comments:

Antonella said...

It's ok Ian! They just suck at improv, and obviously lack the proper back ground in good British comedy were every man can play a woman and people get that within the sketch, he is a woman.

Your women characters are always women to me Ian!! *hugs!*

The Country Bumpkin said...

I agree with Antonella!

I can just picture you...you're wearing a demure skirt and jumper, frilly white blouse, with a string of pearls around your neck, sipping tea in the morning room from a delicate china teacup with your pinkie extended. In front of you, there is a table holding the tea service, a plate of cucumber sandwiches included. Ah, and a fluffy poodle (or a corgie?) curled around your feet/in your lap/chair.

Barbarossa said...

Hmmmm, though I appreciate the last one that sounds much more drag queen like than real woman...

The Country Bumpkin said...

hah hah. drag queen? you? nah!

okay so maybe i overdid the illustration, but think Queen Elizabeth or any old-fashioned prim and proper English lady. get it now? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand your BURNING need to play "convincing" women... but anyway, I'm assuming that sometimes your fellow improvers see you as a six-foot-tall bearded man, and they fail to take the imaginative "leap of faith."

It sounds like you're trying too hard to abstractly "convey" the image of femininity, when you need to establish yourself more directly. Imply in your first line your relationship to a fellow actor, and define your role. Or slip in work with a distinctly feminine "prop" (the heel of your shoe breaks, etc.)

If you want to adopt "mannerisms," then you need to study how women move around: NO WAY AROUND IT. Look at your mother, grandmother, female roommates, classmates, women on the street: how do they walk, carry themselves, etc. How does a pregnant woman move differently? How does an old woman differ from a girl? If you only rely on a single gesture (stroking your hair, gesturing with a limp wrist), it's going to look like an imitation, and people are going to think you're a man imitating a woman.

*Personally,* I think you should work on your drag queen persona. In the world of improv, such a person would be much funnier. Who would you rather sit next to at a bus stop, some random old lady, or fabulous Divine?